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How to Answer One of the Most Popular Interview Questions | Part One

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

"Why should we choose you for..."

(insert job / pageant / award / title / internship)

This question is a staple in every set of interview questions I’ve ever seen or used - as it should be.

Now watch out! It can be worded in a few different ways, but it’s getting to the same point.

It could sound like:

“What sets you apart from the other candidates/contestants?”

“Why do you deserve this award/title/role?”

“What would you do with this opportunity if given the job/title/award/internship?”

Don’t let the different phrasings get in the way; they are all asking for the same information from you.

In theory, this *should* be one of the easiest questions you can be asked in an interview.

I mean, it’s all about you - the best parts of you - and who knows YOU better than YOU?!

Yet, this area of questioning trips up SO MANY people.

This is your chance to shine!

So explain what you can bring to the table!

Here’s what the interviewer is saying:

I’m looking for someone who is self-aware enough to know what they bring to the table and self-confident and prepared enough to articulate it.

Two things to remember when preparing for this question:

1. This has everything to do with you and no one else.

Even if the question is worded as “why should we choose you over the other candidates/contestants” or any other way of framing this as “you against them” - that has no bearing on the answer.

Because my qualifications have nothing to do with anyone else’s.

Maybe they are just as qualified as me and would do just as good a job as me.


Maybe they suck. I dunno.

That’s not for me to say. That’s for the interviewer to figure out.

My job is to tell you why I would be great - not greater than someone else.

But great regardless of anyone else.

2. Forget the humble and just brag.

This is about reframing the way we think about this question.

We are stating the truth. It’s just facts. Good facts.

It’s not gross, even if we have been conditioned to feel gross when talking about ourselves positively.

Our strengths, skills, talents, and experiences are just facts about us.

Take this list, for example:

I am 5’11”

I am skilled at public speaking and am an accomplished event emcee

I have a Master’s degree

I am a fierce advocate for women’s leadership development

I wear a size 11 shoe

I am adept at maximizing an organization through professional development training

I am a dog mom

I can inspire a shared vision in a team

I am Ms. Louisiana

I lead and facilitate with positive intensity

All simple factual statements. Truths about who I am and what I can do.

Ask yourself - why does it feel gross to talk about how I’m great at managing people but it feels fine to talk about how I’m tall?

Both are facts about me, right?

We just need to understand there are social constructs that have hijacked our brains into making us play small when it comes to skills and abilities, but they are just as valid and factual as height or shoe size!

This is all crucial to understand and internalize before we can actually begin to answer this question.

So now that we have reframed our thinking around our strengths and skills, and we understand what the interviewer is asking no matter the form of the question - we are ready to craft our answer!

Stay excellent,

PS: Be sure to read for Part 2 for advice on what to include - and not include - in your answer!

Ready to become the best version of yourself?

Click here to set up a FREE consultation with me so we can discuss a plan for creating your path to excellence! We'll discuss what it looks like to be coached by me, two-time Ms. Louisiana. Get ready to take your competition, your interview prep, and yourself to the next level!

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About Karli

As the owner of Karli Sherman Productions, I am a professional speaker, leadership coach, and executive coach. I help companies, campuses, and individuals to level up and grow through professional development workshops, intensive coaching, and keynote presentations.

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